Senator Wiener's Local Control Nightlife Bill - Allowing Local Decisions to Extend Alcohol Service Hours to 4 a.m. - Clears Assembly Committee
Sacramento – Today the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee approved Senate Bill 384, a bill authored by Senator Scott Wiener to allow – but not require – local communities to extend alcohol service to as late as 4 a.m. The LOCAL Act, which stands for Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night, applies to bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, but not to liquor stores.
The Assembly Governmental Organization committee approved SB 384 by a vote of 15-4, and the bill now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations Committee is the last stop for the bill before being considered by the full Assembly. In May, the LOCAL Act passed the Senate with a bi-partisan super-majority vote of 27-9.
“Nightlife plays a huge role in our culture and economy,” said Senator Wiener. “The LOCAL Act grants communities the flexibility to decide for themselves whether or not to extend hours of alcohol sales, in a way that is both responsible and tailored to their city. California is a large and diverse state, and this bill recognizes that a one-size-fits-all approach to nightlife doesn’t make sense. I want to thank all the members of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee who supported the bill, especially the Chair of the Committee, Assemblymember Adam Gray, who worked with me and my staff to ensure the bill accomplishes its goals effectively."
SB 384 has bipartisan support in the Assembly, including by co-authors Assemblymembers Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), and Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia). The bill is also co-authored by Senators Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica.)
The LOCAL Act is supported by a broad coalition of statewide organizations, including the California Restaurant Association, California Travel Association, California Hotel and Lodging Association, California Music and Culture Association, UNITE-HERE, and California Teamsters Public Affairs Council. It has received support from local governments and organizations across the state, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the City of Oakland, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Hotel Council SF, SF Travel, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Bar Owners Alliance, UBER, and Lyft.
“The California Music & Culture Association strongly supports Senator Wiener’s bill to (finally) expand late night service hours to our great state,” said Ben Bleiman, Co-Chair of the California Music & Culture Association. “Nightlife is a major economic and cultural driver in California. Rather the current “one-size-fits-all” approach, Senator Wiener’s bill puts control over these factors where it rightfully belong — in the hands of each individual municipality. This bill represents a crucial opportunity for California’s cities and towns to choose to join the ranks of those across the country and the world offering truly world-class nightlife for their residents and visitors.”
California’s nighttime industry, including food service, bars/clubs, restaurants, and live music, generate many billions of dollars in consumer spending and employ well over a million Californians. Tourism in California generated $117.5 billion in spending in 2014 and supported over a million jobs.
American cities with late-night service hours beyond 2 a.m. include Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Buffalo, Las Vegas, Louisville, Atlanta, Miami Beach, New Orleans, and Atlanta. 20 states allow alcohol sales after 2 a.m.
The LOCAL Act will establish a process involving local government, local law enforcement, the general public, and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to extend the hours of alcohol sales to a specified time between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. in specific areas. Extended alcohol sale hours could be conditioned to include only specific days of the week or certain holidays.
Local governing bodies, if they choose, will first develop and approve a local plan showing that public necessity and convenience will be served by extending alcohol service hours. The local plan must identify which areas will be eligible for extended hours, as well as a law enforcement assessment regarding impact on public safety. The local plan must exhibit resident and business support, as well as the availability of transportation services. Once the local plan authorizing extended alcohol sales is approved, a business must then apply to ABC for an extended hours license.
LOCAL Act Press Coverage:
by Nate Albee and Heklina
“Many venues make almost 85 percent of their revenue between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. Extending last call by just two hours could almost double the gross income of these venues, allowing them to shoulder the city’s higher rents.
Struggling venues would find themselves in the black again — suddenly able to hire more bartenders, DJs, musicians, drag queens, performers and the support staff who rely on them. And legacy venues such as the Stud and Oasis, which act as stewards of San Francisco culture, would be secured for generations to come.”
By the Editorial Board
“Glitzy bars and nightclubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco? The alcohol has to be gone by 2 a.m. Just like in the smaller cities of Woodland, Calistoga and, yes, Sacramento. It has been this way since Prohibition ended in the 1930s.
Meanwhile, in New York City, patrons can drink until 4 a.m. In Chicago, as late as 5 a.m. on Saturdays. In Washington, D.C., until 3 a.m., and until 4 a.m. on weekends in Atlanta. Even in the state of Indiana, a bastion of irrational blue laws, bars close at 3:30 a.m. every night of the week.”